DoDEA Europe Schools in the News
SHAPE community schools to experience a transformative new school year
DoDDS Europe, PAO
WIESBADEN, Germany | August 15, 2014
The day the SHAPE community has been waiting for since 2012 will soon be upon them.
On Aug. 18, when the students and staff of the SHAPE Elementary and Middle Schools report for class, they will be stepping into brand new facilities. After the New Year the new SHAPE High School will open its doors.
The elementary and middle schools are built with 21st Century students in mind.
Incorporating some of the latest building methods, the elementary school contains 58 classrooms in its 114,057 square feet area. The middle school area is 93,227 square feet with 44 classrooms.
"I am really anxious to see my students," said SHAPE American Middle School principal, Dr. Mario Vanheuckelom. "I will see some familiar faces and look forward to welcoming the newcomers to this unique educational environment.
"We have the opportunity to make a great new school by building an identity and reputation that will make the school stand out on its own," he added. "I look forward to building up a great school in the community and can't wait for the first day of school."
The building features a mix of general-purpose, art, science, music and computer rooms, plus a media center. Two new gyms and a multipurpose room provide communal space in the facility. A common play area located in the heart of the campus will be shared by all students.
According to Paul Jerome, SHAPE International School Infrastructure Program Manager, these spaces were designed to encourage the socialization and interaction among students from all nations represented at SHAPE.
The schools are equipped with the latest information technology systems. Smart Boards are fully integrated into the school-wide data network, and there is a video/broadcast studio housed in the new middle school. Voice-over-Internet Protocol supported digital services and high-speed wireless internet are in place to enhance communication capabilities for staff and students.
A new multipurpose room joins the schools. The multipurpose room features a food-service area for lunches and a performance stage with a light-and-sound system for creative pursuits.
For the athletes and musicians, the schools have two new gymnasiums with locker rooms - one with spectator seating, extensive outdoor athletic and play areas, outdoor learning areas and technologically advanced band rooms.
DoDDS-Europe newcomer Dr. Bernadette Schlueter, is the new principal of SHAPE Elementary School.
"I was pleased to see our school is a modern, state-of-the-art learning environment," she said. "Our parents and community members are going to love what they see when they come to visit us.
"This is an exciting year for us," Schlueter explained. "Safety and environmental sustainability were incorporated into the design of the facility, all grade levels are going to be housed together for the first time, and technology will continue to be a communication and productivity tool for both students and teachers."
After settling in to the brand new facilities, one of the first orders of business at the Elementary School will be getting the school ready for its accreditation visit.
"I am excited to show off the progress we've made on our continuous school improvement goals and the work that we do as a quality school," Schlueter said.
As the school year moves toward the winter recess, the SHAPE High School staff and students will be very close to moving to their new facilities sometime after the New Year.
The new high school will feature 28 classrooms, computer and science labs, a culinary arts room an in information center encompassed in its 54,283 square foot space.
"The excitement has been heightened as our teachers have been able to see the new elementary and middle schools," said Chuck Fannin, SHAPE H.S. principal. "Our teachers are very impressed with the design of the classrooms as well as the available technology.
"Most of our classrooms will be built in a similar manner," he explained. "As administrators, we are very happy that the design of the classrooms and the school will lend itself to the 21st Century learning initiatives and learning expectations."